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Category: Chancellor

Facing ‘financial disaster’ from COVID-19, UW System pushes for borrowing ability

Wisconsin State Journal

COVID-19 has caused the “biggest financial disaster” the university has ever seen, UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said. Through federal stimulus money, furloughs, pay cuts for leadership, travel restrictions and targeted budget cuts to different units, Blank said she’s optimistic the financial gap can be resolved over the next two years. But she also renewed her case for giving the university borrowing authority.

UW-Madison’s fall reopening: A story of success, failure or simply survival?

Wisconsin State Journal

When COVID-19 cases skyrocketed in early September, Chancellor Rebecca Blank knew she had to try something. So on Sept. 9, the fifth day of classes, when the university reported 404 infections of the nearly 5,300 it would accumulate by the end of the semester, she announced a two-week lockdown for two large dorms and a campus-wide pause on face-to-face instruction. “A lot of people thought that we would never recover from that,” she said in an interview on Friday, the final day of the semester. “More than one person has come up to me and said, ‘I thought we’d never get back to in-person classes. I thought you’d have to send everyone home.’ And, you know, we did recover from that.”

Two leaders urge colleges to encourage student voting

Inside Higher Ed

Chancellor Blank and Harvard University President Lawrence S. Bacow: If you are leading a college or university right now — or if you are making the academic year possible as a member of the faculty or staff at any one of our nation’s institutions of higher education — asking something more of your students in the midst of a global pandemic may seem impractical. But one assignment cannot wait. We urge you to encourage your students to register to vote, to become informed of the issues and the candidates, and to cast a ballot

Big Ten Reverses Course and Will Bring Football Back in Late October


As late as Tuesday morning, University of Wisconsin-Madison chancellor Rebecca Blank said that uncertainty over cardiac complications had driven the August decision to nix fall football, and could still lead the Big Ten to sit out.

“Until we have answers to that, we’re going to keep our season postponed,” she testified before the U.S. Senate’s health committee.

‘We’re Not Running Sports to Primarily Make Money’: NIL Hearing to Put Collegiate Revenues in Spotlight

Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated obtained the 1,700-word testimony that Blank submitted ahead of a hearing Tuesday on name, image and likeness before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. While she agrees that NIL reform is needed, Blank plans to tell senators that an unchecked athlete-compensation model could adversely impact Olympic sports and that athletes are already given a “generous package” of benefits that includes thousands of dollars in education, unlimited meals, state-of-the-art medical care and other on-campus resources—many of which normal students do not receive, she notes in the testimony. According to her written testimony, a full scholarship package at Wisconsin is nearly $87,000 for out-of-state students and more than $59,000 for those in state.

Tom Still: Economy is tied to education

Wisconsin State Journal

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, in a blog statement published Wednesday, detailed the steps being taken on campus to allow a “hybrid” reopening — some live classes, some online — and defended the plan as best for students. “Having students on campus and providing in-person instruction, where feasible, provides a better set of educational opportunities for students lacking suitable technology or spaces to effectively study at home,” Blank wrote.

UW-Madison Chancellor Blank on comprehensive plan to restart [WTMJ Roundtable]


Quoted: No plan for opening a university can be fool-proof, which leads to UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank being both confident in her campus plan and concerned about the things she – and any university’s chief executive – cannot control no matter how comprehensive a plan’s framework is.

“I admit I am both optimisitc and worried. I think we’ve done everything we need to do. We’ve got a lot of moving parts,” Blank told WTMJ’s John Mercure during Tuesday’s WTMJ Cares Special Roundtable.

Trump administration rescinds rule on foreign students in face of firestorm of opposition

Wisconsin State Journal

“Today’s announcement is encouraging news for all college students and for American universities,” UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in a statement. “Universities need flexibility to educate students in the most effective manner possible during the pandemic and international students deserve stability and support as they pursue their degrees here.”

Back to school: As UW plans to reopen, students and faculty have questions

The Capital Times

UW-Madison remains committed to preserving elements of in-person teaching, with physical distancing requirements and widespread testing. However, as families and faculty continue to ask more specific questions about what school will look like, the university has about five weeks to hash out the details. “This is a big lift,” Blank said at a University Committee meeting Monday. “We’re going to be running the university in virtually every area differently than it’s ever been run before.”

Opinion: The University of Wisconsin and other public universities are on the front lines of the battle against coronavirus

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

From Rebecca M. Blank is chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and chair of the Council of Presidents of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, a research, policy, and advocacy organization. Peter McPherson is president of APLU and former president of Michigan State University. 

UW Chancellor speaks on fall semester, funding issues


She acknowledged, the university is having serious financial issues. “We’re currently estimating that in an optimistic scenario, where we have the majority of our students back on campus in the fall and fully paying tuition, we’re going to lose about $120 million dollars,” said Blank .”That doesn’t count any future cuts from the state government.”

Wisconsin colleges weigh how to reopen campuses in fall amid COVID-19 uncertainty

Wisconsin State Journal

“There may be some things we simply cannot do in the fall,” UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said Monday to the University Committee, a small group of professors representing faculty members on campus. “It is quite possible that 80,000 people cannot gather in Camp Randall.”

In live stream, Blank and Gard talk about navigating unprecedented disruptions at UW

The Capital Times

In the earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chancellor Rebecca Blank’s biggest priority was making sure UW-Madison finished its spring semester. As the university works to make that happen, Blank said it is taking the opportunity to tackle immediate concerns —  including $100 million in losses — but also prioritize campus safety and prevention moving forward.